25 Perfectly Executed Hip-Hop Beat Switches
Real music heads live for a good beat switch. How those diversions are executed is everything though. As usual, the ones with less flaws live rent free in people’s minds, especially hip-hop fans.
Most fans remember their first time listening to Kanye West’s 2016 song “Famous,” which quickly emerged as one ’Ye’s G.O.A.T. tracks thanks to the beat breakdown when Sister Nancy’s 1982 dancehall song “Bam Bam” sounds off. The track was finessed by nearly 10 different producers and serves as proof that having multiple sets of hands in the pot isn’t always a bad thing. The same thing can be said for Travis Scott and Drake’s diamond-certified 2018 hit “Sicko Mode,” which tapped five different beat architects to turn one song into three. Or Kendrick Lamar‘s 2017 track “The Heart Part 4,” which can be credited to four respective producers.
Build-up production transitions have a special place in the heart of hip-hop as well. There’s a reason why Meek Mill’s 2012 “Dreams and Nightmares (Intro)” is respected as one of the best openers in rap. Similarly, that feeling is also why Tee Grizzley’s “First Day Out,” released in 2016, has the same cultural impact.
Some beats are mutated to fit the mold of a featured artist, exemplified on tracks like The Game’s 2019 song “The Code” featuring 21 Savage or A$AP Rocky’s 2015 track “Electric Body” featuring “L.A.’s Puffy” ScHoolboy Q. On both tracks, the transition from point A to point B is so seamless that a listener will look down at their phone to see if the song changed.
No matter how they come, a good production switch-up is everything. Today, double songs aside, XXL spotlights these perfectly executed hip-hop beat transformations that take you from one sound to the other. Here Are 25 Perfectly Executed Hip-Hop Beat Switches. You can listen to them below.